Skateboarding has always been considered a rebellious and counter-culture sport. However, in recent years it has become a means of creating social change and empowering disadvantaged youth around the world. Skateistan is an organization that has been at the forefront of this movement.


Skateistan is an international NGO that uses skateboarding and education to help children and young people, especially girls, in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. The organization was founded in 2007 by Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich, who wanted to introduce skateboarding to young people in Kabul, Afghanistan, to provide them with a fun and safe space to play and socialize.

The beginnings

Skateistan's first skatepark opened in Kabul in 2009. The organization has since expanded to other locations, including Mazar-e-Sharif and Phnom Penh, and reaches more than 2,500 children every week. Skateistan's programs focus on providing access to education, life skills and social empowerment to children who have been marginalized by their communities or affected by conflict or poverty.

The program

Skateistan's programs are divided into two main areas: Skate and Create. The Skate program teaches children how to skate and gives them access to equipment and facilities. The Create program focuses on educational and creative activities, such as art, music and film production, to help children develop life skills and build confidence.

Equality for all

One of the unique aspects of Skateistan's programs is their focus on girls. In many of the communities where Skateistan operates, girls face significant challenges in accessing education and participating in sports. Skateistan provides girls with a safe and inclusive space where they can skate, learn and grow, challenging traditional gender roles and promoting gender equality.


Skateistan's work has been recognized globally and the organization has won several awards. In 2012, Skateistan received the Laureus Sport for Good Award, which recognizes organizations that use sport as a tool for social change. In 2014, Skateistan received the United Nations Sports for Development and Peace Award for its innovative approach to using skateboarding to engage and empower young people.

The supporters

Skateistan's success would not be possible without the support of the skateboarding community. The organization has received support from some of the biggest names in skateboarding, including Tony Hawk , Jamie Thomas and Rodney Mullen . These skateboarding legends have helped raise awareness of Skateistan's work and contributed financially to support the organization's programs.

Skateistan has also partnered with several skateboard companies, including Vans, Element and Nike SB, who have provided financial support and donated equipment to Skateistan's skateparks. These partnerships have been essential in helping Skateistan expand its programs and reach more children.

For a better world

Skateistan's impact is visible in the stories of the children who participate in its programs. In Afghanistan, where girls' education is often neglected, Skateistan has helped more than 1,200 girls access education and learn important life skills. In Cambodia, Skateistan programs have enabled more than 700 children to develop their confidence, resistance and creativity.

Skateistan's success is a testament to the power of sport as a tool for social change. By providing access to education and empowering marginalized youth, Skateistan creates a better future for the communities it serves.

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